Coconut Water Is the Natural Sports Drink
If you crack open a coconut, the clear juice that runs out is coconut water (not to be confused with coconut milk) and it's the latest rage in sports drinks.
Coconut water has the same electrolyte balance as our blood, making it a better choice than other sports drinks for re-hydrating after a strenuous workout in hot weather or during an illness involving vomiting or diarrhea. In fact, coconut water is so naturally aligned with our bodies' composition, that during World War II in the Pacific, it was used as intravenous hydration and for emergency plasma transfusions. Wasn't that also an episode on Lost?
It may also be very interesting to anyone who enjoys a few cocktails, even those who only imbibe in moderation, that coconut water's ability to rehydrate the body is also helpful for hangover relief.
A proper balance of electrolytes is necessary for regulating blood pressure and for muscle coordination, heart and nerve function and concentration. Coconut water contains all of the essential electrolytes including magnesium, sodium, phosphorus and calcium, and is higher in potassium than most sports drinks and higher even than bananas. It has about 15 grams of natural sugar per serving but no added processed sugars, unlike most sports drinks which can have as much as 14 grams of processed sugars including high fructose corn syrup.
The funny thing about coconut water is that it doesn't taste like coconut. Some say it has an almond flavor or a mineral taste. Drink it plain or you can mix it with orange juice or your daily pomegranate juice, or use it in smoothies instead of water. Vendors are also producing flavored versions including tangerine, pineapple, acai and passion fruit, which might be a good way to begin experimenting.
Coconut water is best served chilled and it might take a little getting used to, but it's worth weaning yourself and especially your children off sugary sports drinks, and substituting an all natural alternative.
About the Author
Margie King is a certified holistic health coach, Wharton M.B.A. and former corporate attorney. She received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Margie leads workshops on nutrition, conducts healthy cooking classes, and offers individual and group health and nutrition coaching to women and busy professionals.
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